When 13 Reasons Why, based on the novel with the same name by Jay Asher, released back in 2017, the series got embroiled in a lot of controversies regarding the portrayal of violence and addiction. There were even accusations against the show for glorifying depression and suicide. But all things said, the series acheived massive success and some of the characters like Jessica Davis (Alisha Boe) ended up being role models for many. The entertainment factor, for sure, never went down and so I managed to binge watch the entire Season 4 overnight.
So here are 5 of the best and worst things about 13 Reasons Why Season 4. Let me just warn you of spoilers ahead. So go ahead at your own risk:
Justin Foley’s Death
Well, I am sure it’s not just me. One of the characters with the best progression, Justin (Brandon Flynn) was flawed but it were his flaws that made us fall in love with him. Honestly, I feel the story could have been twisted a little as Justin had the perfect redemption arc. A kid with an addict mother, survives the streets, loses his girlfriend, fights against his addiction, comes out strong, succesfully gets into college and wins a loving family; to watch him lose everything in the end to a treatable disease was just excruciating and unnecessary. Justin did not deserve it.
Alex and Charlie
One of the best surprises in the whole season was Alex (Miles Heizer) coming out gay and accepting his sexuality eventually. Charlie (Tyler Barnhardt) was already a fan favourite since Season 3 but with his cute gay and romantic side revealed in Season 4, he won over may more hearts. And the entire asking out Alex for Prom sequence made sure these two made the cutest and the most loved couple.
Lost and Lonely Winston
Before Charlie won Alex’s heart, it was Winston who helped Alex embrace his sexuality and we cannot thank him enough for that. It was painful to watch Winston lose his love a second time after Monty. However, it is still a mystery to me as to how can Winston fall in love with Monty. But as we all know, love works in mysterious ways.
Clay losing his virginity
A lot of fans including me were waiting for poor Clay (Dylan Minnette) to finally enjoy intimacy to the fullest and lose his virginity. It would have made more sense with Ani but Season 4 somewhat lost Ani (Grace Saif) in between the episodes. Although the makers could have made the circumstaces more genuine and memorable, we are just happpy to see Clay finally acing the act.
Clay’s Mental Health
It was so dishearteing to watch Clay break piece by piece and get suffocated under the burden of his own secrets. He was just a step away from losing it all. But we are glad to have Clay survive all of it even though I found it a bit unrealistic to see him not going through any clear treatment inspite of experiencing such livid, violent and disturbing hallucinations and nightmares.
Jessica and Diego
Watching Jessica and Justin separate forever was not easy but we atleast know Diego is there for her. The two had an amazing screen chemistry from the begining but to watch Diego fall for her with all sincerety was not just sweet but also necessary. We love Justin Jessica but there is no avoiding the fact that they had a toxic relationship. With Diego, we can atleast hope for Jessica to have a steady love relationship.
Zach Being a Douchebag
Zach (Ross Butler) has always been the most sensible and disciplined of all Liberty High students but with his football career almost over and the emotional baggage following Monty’s death, Season 4 portrays him as a complete douchebag. He drinks all day, doesn’t care at all about grades or his future, openly engages in vandalism, brings a hooker to Senior Prom and the list just goes on. Zach’s sudden change was definitely one of the worst elements of this Season.
I just loved the whole chemistry between Alex and Charlie and the moment they are declared the Prom King and King was according to me the sweetest scene. Their romance looked so genuine. Apart from them, Justin and Jessica’s shortlived happiness to have finally found each other, also not forgetting the joy on everyone’s face forgetting the complications of their life for a minute; the Prom scenes gave the much needed respite from all the sadness and melancholy.
Yes! It is sad that we won’t ever know what are the characters upto in their college lives. Whether Alex ever gets caught or Clay ever stops hallucinating about fellow Liberty High dead students? Does Alex and Charlie stick together? Is the gang succesful in their professional life? We will never know.
No matter how difficult it was saying goodbyes to our favourite characters, it was satisfying to watch Clay and Tony (Christian Navarro) set out on their college journey leaving behind their worries and fears. There was a certain positive vibe to the whole scene which gave me the required closure to accept the end of this teen drama.
Right from rape, violence, bully, assault, depression, self esteem, homosexuality to addiction, dysfunctional families, diseases and loneliness, 13 Reasons Why covered it all. Not the best, but I sure had a lot of both fun and enlightenment watching it.